Get your kids talking with no-cost car games

Parenting Expert ~ Get Kids Talking with These No-Cost Car Games
by Jean Tracy

Parents, get your kids talking with free car games.  Our parenting expert, Ellen Jaffe, reports how her last child to speak now speaks and performs for a living! Read on.

Family Conversations Ellen Jaffee 
  Ellen Jaffe 

“My children are all grown, and two of them have children. I used to talk to them in the car (I did far too much car-pooling in the day). 

I didn’t have an agenda and I didn’t ask many questions, except on the way home from school. Then, even the car pool kids knew to share something of interest that happened during the day.

Game – Minus Scenarios

1. When my daughter was fairly young, she was looking at the numbers on the gas signs as the tank was being filled and she suddenly said, What if it cost 3 dollars and you only had two dollars? Would it be like minus one? I was amazed at her reasoning! We spent the whole rest of the time in the car with her figuring out other minus scenarios.

Game – I’m Thinking of…

2. Also, my children liked and now my grandchildren like to play verbal games in the car –  How is—- a like a…. or  I’m thinking of something to eat, or I’m thinking of someone in the family who is not in the car…. For the “thinking of” games, if the answer isn’t right, they get a clue. Whoever gets it goes next. This works with very young ones if the clues are simple enough. They LOVE it when I can’t figure it out!


Game – 3 Things That Are Connected…

3. A new game is to name 3 things that are connected in some way and everyone has to try to figure out the connection – like grass, that truck, the road sign – all green. Lots of conversations go along with these games, and lots of reasoning – and you get delicious connections to how they are thinking!


Bonus – TV Questions:

And, when watching TV together (yes, TV isn’t all bad, but shouldn’t be used as a babysitter) Do you think a real person would say that? How would you end this story? What do you think they should have done? And when they tell you what’s going to happen next, and they’re right – it’s wonderful to see their pride in figuring out the plot.

My 4 grown children (all in the 30s) are very verbal in their own unique ways. The one who was last to actually speak now speaks and performs for a living! Who wudda thunk?”

You can contact Ellen Jaffe at her website, Hilltop Early Childhood Services 


Ellen, thank you for sharing such fun ideas. Now families everywhere can think and have fun in the car. Who knows how it will influence their children’s lives.

What Do You Think?

With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS  website at

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